Heat players nickname themselves “The Heatles”

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Well, this should be gasoline on the fire that is people thinking the Miami Heat’s egos are running amok.

During his postgame comments Monday night (via the Miami Herald), LeBron joked that the Heat call themselves “The Heatles” because they sell out every stadium they tour on the road. (The Heatles is a not-so-subtle Beatles reference. You know, the Beatles. That band Apple is incessantly hyping on iTunes right now.)

Ugh. I can’t want until the phony Heatlemania has bitten the dust.

LeBron, you should have stuck with contraction talk. It’s just too early for this — the Beatles are the most successful rock band of all time and you guys have yet to really do anything except look good in December. You haven’t even been on Ed Sullivan yet.

One other thing — try selling out your home arena before you go say this stuff. Think the Beatles didn’t sell out in Liverpool? The Heat are packing arenas on the road but any reader of this blog can still walk up to the box office windows and buy tickets for Heat games at the American Airlines Arena. Not good.

(LeBron, just a word of advice between you and me — if you’re on a Beatles kick avoid that whole “bigger than Jesus” thing that John Lennon tried. Did not go over well then, would get you crushed now that Christians have figured out this Internet thing. Just a warning.)

Over at CBS Facts & Rumors, Matt Moore makes the case that LeBron is really a good fit for John Lennon, Dwayne Wade makes a very good Paul McCartney, but that Chris Bosh is really more Ringo than the intellectual George Harrison (it was Harrison who helped transform the Beatles into the groundbreaking band it became by the late 1960s). All that works for me. I might start calling Bosh “Ringo.”

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.